A SpaceX astronaut taxi has made it to the launch site ahead of this weekend's planned liftoff.
The Dragon capsule Endeavour is now at Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the company announced via Twitter on Sunday (opens in new tab) (Feb. 19), in a post that included two photos of the spacecraft.
Endeavour is scheduled to launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Pad 39A at 1:45 a.m. EST (0645 GMT) on Feb. 27, kicking off the company's Crew-6 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA. The launch was delayed one day from an earlier Feb. 26 target. You can watch the liftoff here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA.
Related: Meet the SpaceX Crew-6 astronauts
Crew-6 will send four astronauts to the ISS for a roughly six-month stay. Those crewmembers are NASA's Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, the United Arab Emirates' Sultan Al-Neyadi and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.
Al-Neyadi will make history, becoming the first Arab astronaut ever to conduct a long-duration mission aboard the orbiting lab. (His countryman Hazzaa Ali Almansoori visited the ISS in 2019 but spent only eight days off Earth.)
Endeavour is scheduled to dock with the ISS early on the morning of Feb. 29, roughly 24 hours after liftoff. The capsule will join another Dragon at the orbiting lab — Endurance, which is flying SpaceX's Crew-5 mission for NASA.
The two SpaceX flights won't overlap in orbit for long. Endurance is slated to depart a few days after Endeavour's arrival, carrying the Crew-5 astronauts — NASA's Josh Cassada and Nicole Mann, Japanese spaceflyer Koichi Wakata and Russian Anna Kikina — back down to Earth.
Crew-6 will be the fourth astronaut mission to the ISS for Endeavour. The capsule also flew Demo-2 in 2020, SpaceX's first-ever crewed flight; Crew-2 in 2021; and Ax-1, the first-ever all-private crewed mission to the orbiting lab, in April 2022.
Editor's note: This story was updated at 7 p.m. ET to reflect NASA's one-day delay of the SpaceX Crew-6 launch.
Mike Wall is the author of "Out There (opens in new tab)" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).
To my knowledge, 2023 is not a leap year, there is no February 29th this year. Oops.